Jump to content
Frozone212

The Sega CD: What if

Recommended Posts

Ok so, the Unit adds FMV capability and Redbook audio but is hamstrung by the hardware of the Genesis itself but what if Sony had worked on the add on instead?

 

think of it: The genesis hardware only allows 64 colors out of a palette of 512. What if, instead of adding just FMV and better Audio, the CD came with a custom chip or mapper that allowed 3D graphics without the need for the 32X to be made. It would've saved time, money and needless hassle on the part of the consumer.

 

Better yet: Combine both the Genesis and CD, add the custom chip for graphics heavy tasks and focus purely on first rate, non FMV titles. If you need to do FMV, add a toggle switch that shifts between the increased Ram+color (for non FMV) and Base Ram/Base color (For FMV).

 

Could it have worked?

 

I'm not a gearhead like you fellows, feel free to correct any errors

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it can actually display all 512 colors on screen at once if you use Blast Processing. It can also do 3D by itself as it is without the need for any additional hardware. Go play LHX Attack Chopper or F22 Interceptor if you want to see it. These games run at super low frame rates, but they are in 3D and they have absolutely no additional hardware.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sega CD retailed for $300 at launch. Wouldn’t anything extra inside it have made it cost prohibitive?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

Well, it can actually display all 512 colors on screen at once if you use Blast Processing. It can also do 3D by itself as it is without the need for any additional hardware. Go play LHX Attack Chopper or F22 Interceptor if you want to see it. These games run at super low frame rates, but they are in 3D and they have absolutely no additional hardware.

Yeah, but I'm guessing Frozone212 is talking about stuff like Doom, Virtua Racing and Virtua Fighter. The Genesis like the SNES needed an extra chip for stuff like Virtua Fighter in 3d with polygons. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, 8th lutz said:

The Genesis like the SNES needed an extra chip for stuff like Virtua Fighter in 3d with polygons. 

Nope. It can do it all by itself. It doesn't do it well, but it is absolutely capable of doing it without any additional hardware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Steven Pendleton said:

Nope. It can do it all by itself. It doesn't do it well, but it is absolutely capable of doing it without any additional hardware.

I see you ignored me mentioning Doom and Virtua Racing. My point of that that post you quoted me was the games I mentioned would've turned of turned out extremely bad. Doing it and Doing it decent are two different matters. Sega had its SVP for Virtua Racing because of how poorly the game would've turned out otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, 8th lutz said:

I see you ignored me mentioning Doom and Virtua Racing. My point of that that post you quoted me was the games I mentioned would've turned of turned out extremely bad. Doing it and Doing it decent are two different matters. Sega had its SVP for Virtua Racing because of how poorly the game would've turned out otherwise.

No, I purposefully disregarded it; the system needs no assistance in order to do 3D. It does need assistance to do 3D well.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe if the Sega CD had come out in 1994 instead of 1991 when it actually did come out.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Sega CD also adds scaling and rotation, which allegedly they wanted to include in the MD/Gen at launch, but it would have cost too much.

Can you imagine, though? All those Yu Suzuki/Super Scaler games would have been KILLER.

Hardly any of them even got ported over to the CD.

 

That was one area where SNES really had the advantage.

Edited by Asaki
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sega CD *does* have extra hardware in it: Another 68000 processor, a custom graphics processor that allows scaling and rotation, a new sound processor allowing high quality sound samples and more sound channels, and it has added RAM. It wasn't just a CD drive tacked on like some have been led to believe. There are probably a few things that could have been done differently, but overall it was still a notable step up from stock Genesis hardware considering the timeframe it was released (late '91 release in Japan, '92 release in the USA). CD drives were *not cheap* then and I doubt the added custom hardware helped matters much there either. Also, the new features it brought to the table are demoed the second you boot up the system (see below; scaling and rotation is in full effect, and all of the percussive samples are done with the new sound processor):

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, all that stuff too.

Extra color support would have been great, IIRC they had been seriously contemplating it.

A lot of those PC CD-ROM games that were ported over could have seriously benefited from it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Austin said:

The Sega CD *does* have extra hardware in it: Another 68000 processor, a custom graphics processor that allows scaling and rotation, a new sound processor allowing high quality sound samples and more sound channels, and it has added RAM. It wasn't just a CD drive tacked on like some have been led to believe. There are probably a few things that could have been done differently, but overall it was still a notable step up from stock Genesis hardware considering the timeframe it was released (late '91 release in Japan, '92 release in the USA). CD drives were *not cheap* then and I doubt the added custom hardware helped matters much there either. Also, the new features it brought to the table are demoed the second you boot up the system (see below; scaling and rotation is in full effect, and all of the percussive samples are done with the new sound processor):

 

 

I do not recall ever seeing this before. Either I forgot or I hit start too quick for this to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/8/2021 at 2:19 AM, jeremiahjt said:

I do not recall ever seeing this before. Either I forgot or I hit start too quick for this to start.

Did you have a model 2?

Model 1 had a different intro (as did other countries, and I think the CDX and whatever else).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Asaki said:

Did you have a model 2?

Model 1 had a different intro (as did other countries, and I think the CDX and whatever else).

Yep, model 2 since 1994.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The FMV is what made the system seem terrible. With all that optical storage on hand i would have rather they just continued with 16bit titles and added loads of content. I feel they were trying to use FMV to make the system look next gen with all the grainy video clips. Had massive potential for some great RPG's and sequels of existing games with bucket loads of content. That's my two cents anyway because games like slam jam sucked and were trying to achieve things the system just couldn't do.

Edited by TwentySixHundred
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/7/2021 at 12:38 AM, Asaki said:

Can you imagine, though? All those Yu Suzuki/Super Scaler games would have been KILLER.

Hardly any of them even got ported over to the CD.

Instead we got the sick joke that is Afterburner III. I like G-LOC but not this thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2021 at 8:20 AM, Steven Pendleton said:

Nope. It can do it all by itself. It doesn't do it well, but it is absolutely capable of doing it without any additional hardware.

It was definitely limited overall, although some 3D games worked out OK on it. Hard Drivin' and Race Drivin' produced decent framerates for the time (the Genesis port for Race Drivin' actually runs a good bit better than the SNES version), and definitely better than what the other home conversions were doing (apart from the PC version of course). That could also partially be because of the mostly responsive controls, that goes a long way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

But anyway, to address the topic at hand, I honestly think that the add-on idea was fundamentally flawed at the time from a business perspective. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the Sega CD happened, we definitely got some great games for it, but from a marketing and financial perspective, it may not have been the best decision. 

 

I do think that perhaps the add-on itself could've been better if Sony was involved (or at the very least it may have been more "interesting"), but that only matters so much if you can't get the system in enough people's homes. And on top of that, this was also during the FMV craze, and very few people would go out of their way to say that the FMV games like Nightrap are some of the best on the system. My point is basically that the end result would've been similar overall, as better/more advanced hardware isn't relevant if there aren't enough games that really use it. A good chunk of the games for the Sega CD were FMV games, and they're the textbook example of gimmicky. 

 

Hell, even my dad said at the time that when he first played an FMV game on the console (I think it was Corpse Killer), he honestly thought it was pretty lame. Keep in mind, this was back when the game first came out. You know you've messed up when even people from back then thought that games like that weren't fun. It goes to show that a console/add-on is doomed to fall if not enough good games are made for it.

Edited by RetroSonicHero
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2021 at 5:37 AM, bluejay said:

The Sega CD retailed for $300 at launch. Wouldn’t anything extra inside it have made it cost prohibitive?

I mean, it was already a hard sell to begin with, so I definitely think something like that wouldn't have helped its case.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/13/2021 at 10:11 PM, TwentySixHundred said:

The FMV is what made the system seem terrible. With all that optical storage on hand i would have rather they just continued with 16bit titles and added loads of content. I feel they were trying to use FMV to make the system look next gen with all the grainy video clips. Had massive potential for some great RPG's and sequels of existing games with bucket loads of content. That's my two cents anyway because games like slam jam sucked and were trying to achieve things the system just couldn't do.

I definitely agree here, the system's library had a pretty big focus on gimmicks and that was certainly detrimental. Even people from way-back-when weren't interested in watching FMV stuff and occasionally pressing buttons. It was a very strange way to use the 650 MBs accessible to them per disc. We could've seen games as big as Final Fantasy 7 on it if they used that extra storage for game data and audio. That would've honestly been amazing for the time. (To be fair, multiple games used the storage space brilliantly, but the FMV stuff isn't what I would consider to be a good example of that.)

Edited by RetroSonicHero
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 early Sega CD games that really sold the system and were not FMV games, were Batman Returns and Silpheed. You could see how next-gen these games were over Genesis, and they were not lame.  Great graphics and sound.  IMO! 

 

If only the hardware could have had higher resolution FMV,  or more colorful FMV, then those FMV games wouldn't have look so terrible even back then. Sewer Shark is actually fun, but the name of it turned me off, and actors yelling at me all the time was a turnoff. The pack-in Sherlock Holmes game had very low res and video and in a small window to boot.  Seeing the FMV was initially very cool but would have been more desirable if it actually looked good. Later FMV games somehow improved the video quality and load time however. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, RetroSonicHero said:

I definitely agree here, the system's library had a pretty big focus on gimmicks and that was certainly detrimental. Even people from way-back-when weren't interested in watching FMV stuff and occasionally pressing buttons. It was a very strange way to use the 650 MBs accessible to them per disc. We could've seen games as big as Final Fantasy 7 on it if they used that extra storage for game data and audio. That would've honestly been amazing for the time. (To be fair, multiple games used the storage space brilliantly, but the FMV stuff isn't what I would consider to be a good example of that.)

Yep i would have to say that Sonic CD is a prime example of a Sega CD game done the right way. Games like road avenger and slam jam were a completely horrible experience and made the consumer feel like they wasted their money IMO.

1 hour ago, Cafeman said:

2 early Sega CD games that really sold the system and were not FMV games, were Batman Returns and Silpheed. You could see how next-gen these games were over Genesis, and they were not lame.  Great graphics and sound.  IMO! 

 

If only the hardware could have had higher resolution FMV,  or more colorful FMV, then those FMV games wouldn't have look so terrible even back then. Sewer Shark is actually fun, but the name of it turned me off, and actors yelling at me all the time was a turnoff. The pack-in Sherlock Holmes game had very low res and video and in a small window to boot.  Seeing the FMV was initially very cool but would have been more desirable if it actually looked good. Later FMV games somehow improved the video quality and load time however. 

Batman was really good and utilized some of the extra features the hardware had (another game done well). Personally in not fully against the FMV side of things and not even its quality for that mater. More the fact of how it was incorporated into these games. I feel Road Rash used it the right way, with using it for cutscenes and video but leaving the gameplay in the hands of the Genesis. The remaining left over ROM (which most games use half the capacity at best) could have been used for boat loads of extra in-game content like sprites ect.

 

I mean yeah it actually was cool to see FMV on a 16bit console back in the day. But no one had a great experience with "interactive" FMV crap. To me after seeing it once the replay ability is totally lost.

 

overall It's a shame because the system was very untapped and lacking the potential for great RPG's along with massive sequels to existing titles.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is ultimately games that make or break a system.  I think it is the weaker FMV games that hurt the Sega CD like Sewer Shark.

 

I also have to echo Gamepro reviewer Blake Snow's sentiments:  "The problem was threefold: the device was expensive at $299, it arrived late in the 16-bit life cycle, and it didn't do much (if anything) to enhance the gameplay experience." 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Core Design made excellent use of the Sega CD's capabilities, and also see homebrew developers taking advantage of them in ten-or-so years.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...